Very rarely does a team stay undefeated forever. For the Michigan Wolverines though, they may have liked their first loss to have looked a lot different.
In the championship game of the Legends Classic, the Wolverines let themselves get behind in rapid fashion and never could scratch back into it, ultimately losing to Arizona State Sun Devils 87-62.
Michigan’s sluggishness out of gate hurt them in a big way in this game, as the Sun Devils quickly jumped out to a seven-point lead in no small part due to the Wolverines’ 2-for-7 shooting line through the first media timeout.
That 2-for-7 line sunk into an even deeper 3-for-16 hole after the break, with Arizona State looking almost unable to miss a shot in the same time frame — missing just one of the six shots between the first and second media timeouts.
Though the Sun Devils’ onslaught slowed down the stretch, Michigan’s struggles didn’t ease up enough to take advantage. As both teams went into the half, Arizona State led 46-28.
Statistically, it was Jett Howard once again leading the pack on the scoring sheet with 10 points on 3-for-8 shooting. Jaelin Llewellyn and Hunter Dickinson meanwhile tied for the team lead in rebounds with three a piece.
In direct contrast to the first half’s start, the Wolverines and Sun Devils stayed relatively even through the first media timeout in the second. Michigan gained the slight advantage with a pair of free throws from Jett Howard, but the two point swing in the Wolverines’ favor did little to cut into the 16-point lead.
Ultimately, even that slim momentum didn’t last long. As had been the trend all night, Arizona State rediscovered their groove coming out of the break, while Michigan once again went ice cold, swelling the lead to 25 points.
The rest of the second half was largely spent as a duel to prevent the margin of victory from finishing past 30, with the Sun Devils coming a missed free throw and goaltending call away from doing so in the final minute.
The Wolverines return home from Brooklyn to face the Ohio Bobcats on Sunday.